Gordon on representing Bahamas: “Switching over to a smaller country is more meaningful”

2024-06-28T19:59:38+00:00 2024-06-29T15:06:02+00:00.

Aris Barkas

28/Jun/24 19:59

Photo: FIBA Basketball

After winning gold in 2010 with the USA in the FIBA World Cup, Eric Gordon wants to make history by leading the Bahamas basketball team to the Olympics

By Aris Barkas/ barkas@eurohoops.net

Athens, Greece – The Bahamas are relatively new on the world basketball stage, but on the other hand, when you look into their roster, their presence in the Olympic qualifiers makes total sense.

A talented roster is spearheaded by Buddy Hield, DeAndre Ayton, and above everyone else, Eric Gordon.

While he is entering free agency by choice after reportedly declining his $3.4 million player option with the Phoenix Suns for the 2024-25 season, he is on the other side of the Atlantic, preparing for one of the four FIBA Olympic qualifying tournaments.

He will travel to Spain, where the hosts are the favorites, and he is the only guy on the Bahamas roster with more than just FIBA basketball experience. To be exact, he won the 2010 FIBA World Cup gold, but the devil is on the details.

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He did it as a member of the USA and FIBA permitted him to change national teams and represent the Bahamas. There’s a rule that gives the FIBA secretary general the authority to do that if two federations agree to it and the change of “basketball nationality” of a player can be considered a positive move for the growth of the sport.

Gordon agrees with this rule and its spirit: “ Yeah, because I did represent the US, but I’m also Bahamian. My mom was born there and I grew up there. And so for me to switch over to even a smaller country is more meaningful. So I think that thing like the naturalized players are subjects in other countries. I think it does work out well for me”.

His explanation while talking to Eurohoops was honest and simple: “Well, it feels great to represent the Bahamas. We have a good team and we’re going to try to make it to the Olympics”.

“Our team is built for it”

The Bahamas played in the Acropolis preparation tournament against hosts Greece and Montenegro, losing twice.

That’s why for Gordon, his experience with the US national team doesn’t really apply to the Bahamas, but the Bahamas are not a pushover despite the results: “No, it’s definitely different. I think our team is built for it. We have a good enough team to try to make it to the Olympics as long as we stay together. And the Acropolis tournament was an experience for our young guys to feel how the euro game really is”.

And the Bahamas are going to Spain having high hopes and Gordon likes their chances against Spain: “Yes, we do. I think we can beat anybody as long as we stay together and hopefully we do get that chance”.